Even superstars can get starstruck, which is exactly what happened to Tim McGraw. The Louisiana native, who grew up on the music of Bruce Springsteen, recalls an embarrassing encounter when he and his wife, Faith Hill, got to meet his musical idol in person — and he wasn’t able to say a word.
“He’s one of my favorite artists of all time, and one of my favorite people of all time,” Tim tells Zane Lowe on Apple Music. “He’s the coolest dude in the world to be able to hang out with. I’ve been able to hang out with him a few times and … that’s the Boss. And it’s a funny story, because the very first time I met him, he was doing 15 nights in a row at the Meadowlands. Faith had recorded ‘Should I Fall Behind’ on her album, and Bruce had sent her a really nice letter about the record that she had made on it. So he was playing at the Meadowlands. We happened to be in New York, so we wanted to go see him.”
Tim and Faith managed to get to the show, but Tim was unprepared to have personal time with the rock music icon.
“We were just going to see the show,” Tim shares. “We go to the show, and they take us right into his dressing room, and he wasn’t in there at the time. So we’re just standing in his dressing room, and then he walks in, and I’m such a huge fan. So Faith and he were talking the entire time. When we left, we walked out of the room and Faith says, ‘Do you realize that you didn’t say one word the entire time we were in there?’ Then I told her, ‘I was scared to death, and I was scared to death I was going to call him the Boss while I was talking to him. I didn’t want to embarrass myself.'”
Tim just celebrated his 44th No. 1 hit, with “I Called Mama.” The song, from his latest Here on Earth album, was a timely release during the global coronavirus pandemic, even though he recorded the song before life came to a stop.
“All of this music was really recorded before the world changed,” Tim reflects. “That song was one of the last ones that we had done, and it was right before the world changed. When I recorded it, it was a nice, beautiful, simple song about something in life happening. Who do you lean on when something hits you in the gut, and changes your thought process about the way you’re living your life and the way you’re looking at life a little bit differently? So it was a nice song about that, and how you reach out to your mom, and your mom’s sort of your rock and stabilizes you when things are going crazy. And then once we started mixing the song is when the world went crazy, and we had the pandemic strike and everything started changing.
“Our whole outlook on what life was really about started changing,” he continues. “And I think that song took on a different meaning at that time. Then it was not only about mom and about losing a friend. It was about a bigger picture. It was about everybody in your life who you can lean on, can count on, to stabilize you when… It’s like, well, sometimes when you go to bed and you’d been drinking a little too much and the bed starts spinning, you’ve got to put a foot on the ground to keep it from spinning.”